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Woman rescued from house fire in Cleveland

Posted at 12:21 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 18:27:59-04

A 59-year-old woman was rescued from the second floor of a house on fire on Cleveland's west side Wednesday afternoon.

The Cleveland Fire Department responded to the fire at a home on West 97th Street at around noon, according to a tweet from the department. There were reports of people trapped upstairs. 

The nextdoor neighbor said he walked onto his porch and saw flames. Marcos Martinez grabbed his ladder and put it up to the house.

"I wanted to help the lady, because I knew someone was in the house," Martinez said through an interpreter. 

At the same time Martinez was trying to help, a Cleveland Fire Dispatcher was trying to calm the woman down. All fire dispatchers are firefighters. Officials said their training and experience fighting fires helps crews get valuable information. 

Lt. James Norman fought fires for 15 years before moving into the dispatch center. As he was talking to the woman on the phone, his co-workers were dispatching crews to the house. 

"I said, 'Can you get out?' She said, 'No, too much smoke,'" he said.

Norman learned she was on the second floor. He told her to get low to the ground and near a window. 

"We knew where she was at, she was by the window down low, and that made our jobs a little easier," Norman said. 

The woman was rescued from the second floor of the home, fire officials said. The firefighter who rescued her was injured and treated on scene, according to authorities.

Crews rescued a dog and a cat from the home, but one dog died in the fire, officials said.

The fire reportedly started in the basement and spread upstairs.